Two Students Writing in Notebooks

What is teacher residency?

A teacher residency is a model of teacher preparation that prioritizes in-classrom experience working with children in partnership with a strong mentor teacher. Teacher residents are paid a living wage or stipend during their residency. It is an on-the-job route to certification. Learn more on the What is Teacher Residency? page.

Why did WEA become a teacher preparation program?

Educator shortages have been a persisent challenge for public education and have worsened with the pandemic. The WEA Board of Directors voted at the March 2022 meeting to move forward with developing and proposing a new union-run teacher preparation program to help address this problem. WEA brings many assets to the teacher preparation space, including our existing professional learning resources and the ability to shape collective baragaining to support residents. 

Who approved WEA as a teacher preparation program?

WEA completed a 3-step educator program approval process through the Professional Educatora Standards Board (PESB), which has policy authority over educator preparation. PESB approved WEA's full proposal in March 2023. 

Why did WEA choose special education as its program endorsement?

Special education is a shortage area in nearly every region and school district in Washington state.

Will the WEA-TR expand to other places in the state?

The focus of the first year (2023-24) is to design, implement and refine a new union-run educator preparation model. WEA is working on program sustainability and expansion options beyond the 2023-school year, which may include new partners and endorsement areas.

What are admission requirements for WEA-TR? What are the program completion requirements?

Click the link to find a summary of program admision and completion requirements

What is the cost of the WEA-TR program?

In this first year of the program, tuition is $2,000. This amount could change in subsequent years. Learn more about how WEA, the school district and the residents partner to support candidacy in the program on the application and program requirements page

Can I apply to the WEA-TR if I am not able to potentially work in the Federal Way, Mukilteo and Walla Walla school districts?

No, not in the 2023-24 school year. The WEA-TR is only accepting applications from individuals willing and able to work within these three partner school districts. Applications for the 2023-24 WEA Teacher Residency program are now closed. Please complete this inquiry form to stay in touch on possible future opportunities.

I am interested in learning more about the WEA Teacher Residency and applying to the Federal Way, Mukilteo and Walla Walla cohorts. What do I do next?

Please visit our main application page to learn more about admissions requirements and find the WEA Teacher Residency application checklist. Reach out to

How can I stay in touch with WEA to share my interest in teacher certification and learn about future program partnerships?

To receive future updates about WEA’s professional development for emergency substitutes and the prospective teacher residency program, please fill out this interest form.

More questions?

Please email We will continue to update this FAQ as information becomes available.